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In Re Marriage of Skinner

OPINION FILED NOVEMBER 20, 1986.

IN RE MARRIAGE OF ROBIN G. SKINNER, PETITIONER-APPELLEE, AND CALVIN L. SKINNER, JR., RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Allen F. Rosin, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE JOHNSON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The circuit court of Cook County enrolled two orders of the circuit court of McHenry County. The first order dissolved the marriage of petitioner, Robin Skinner, and respondent, Calvin Skinner, Jr. The second order awarded custody to their daughter, Alexandra, to Robin, with unrestricted visitation by Calvin. After enrolling these orders, the Cook County court ordered that Calvin could visit Alexandra only with supervision. Calvin appeals, contending that the Cook County court erred in both enrolling the orders of the McHenry County court and in modifying the child custody order from that court.

We reverse.

The McHenry County court entered an order dissolving the marriage of Robin and Calvin on May 31, 1984. On August 31, 1984, that court entered its custody order, which provided, in part, for unrestricted visitation by Calvin according to an agreed schedule. On November 2, 1984, the McHenry County court entered judgment on all remaining issues, including division of property, maintenance, and child support.

On November 7, 1984, Robin petitioned the Cook County court to enroll the dissolution and child-support orders. In her petition she characterized the May 31, 1984, dissolution order as "final." She also alleged that the McHenry County court entered judgment as to the remaining issues, but did not state the date on which the court entered judgment. On the same day, the Cook County court entered, ex parte, an order that enrolled only the dissolution and child-custody orders. The Cook County court continued the matter until November 30, 1984. On that date, at the close of an evidentiary hearing and argument, the court entered a permanent enrollment order.

After holding several hearings, the Cook County court, from the bench on February 5, 1985, modified the McHenry County court's child-custody order. The Cook County court ordered, inter alia, that Calvin was to visit his daughter only with supervision. The court entered a written order on February 8, 1985, that reflected its oral ruling. Calvin appeals.

Calvin first claims that the Cook County court erred in enrolling the child-custody order of the McHenry County court. He contends that McHenry County is the proper venue for the matter, based on the date of the Cook County enrollment and his and Robin's residency. Robin contends that venue properly belongs in Cook County.

Section 512 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 40, par. 512) (hereinafter Act) provides in pertinent part as follows:

"Sec. 512. Post-judgment venue. After 30 days from the entry of a judgment of dissolution of marriage or the last modification thereof, any further proceedings to enforce or modify the judgment shall be as follows:

(b) If one or both of the parties then resides in the judicial circuit wherein the judgment was entered or last modified, further proceedings shall be had in the judicial circuit that last exercised jurisdiction in the matter; provided, however, that the court may in its discretion, transfer matters involving a change in child custody to the judicial circuit where the minor or dependent child resides.

(c) If neither party then resides in the judicial circuit wherein the judgment was entered or last modified, further proceedings shall be had in that circuit or in the judicial circuit wherein either party resides or where the respondent is actively employed; provided, however, that the court may, in its discretion, transfer matters involving a change in child custody to the judicial circuit where the minor or dependent child resides." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 40, par. 512.

Calvin first contends that the Cook County court enrolled the McHenry County court's child-custody order before 30 days had passed from the McHenry County court's entry of a final dissolution judgment. Robin contends that more than 30 days had passed from that court's entry of a final judgment.

After reviewing the record, we find that the Cook County court enrolled the McHenry County court's orders before 30 days had passed from that court's entry of a final dissolution judgment. We base this finding on the plain meaning of section 512 of the Act and the status of a child-custody order in a dissolution proceeding. ...


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